Live Wedding Painting : first dance of Katherine and Manny by Raleigh NC Live Event Artist

What an amazing weekend! One of the busiest for sure. On Saturday I was honored to paint live at Katherine and Manny’s wedding reception. The reception was at the beautiful North Ridge Country Club (NRCC) in Raleigh NC. The club is not too far from where I live. I have been traveling for assignments, so, this was a good change. This was my third wedding painting commission with A Southern Soiree. Many amazing vendors made this wedding reception absolutely beautiful.

Katherine had a certain vision for this painting. My aim was to create a painting that will meet her expectation while allowing me the artistic freedom. This commission was originally of 16×20 size. When I arrived at the location I decided to paint bigger size of 18×24. This size allowed me to create a composition that captured what Katherine had in mind. And I was able to incorporate elements that described the venue, event and most importantly couple’s very special moment- their first dance, in sufficient detail.

I arrived at the location three hours prior to the first dance. A Southern Soiree team had already suggested a location that will be appropriate for me to setup. As with many of my live painting commissions, my painting was created from the vision I had and not the actual view from where I was setup. To achieve that I move around and create reference sketches. My aim always is not to create a literal painting but work-of-art that captures the special moments.

I started with a blank canvas and then toned it to create warmth of the ambience. I sketched the composition away from my easel, directly on the linen. Here is the sketch:

Live wedding painting in progress at the North Ridge Country Club
Live wedding painting in progress at the North Ridge Country Club. I have finished toning the linen and sketched my composition.

There was plenty of natural light inside so I was able to paint without using additional lighting. The next step was to work out the value design. The challenge being, the light! The light will continue to change. But, painting is all about solving problems. So, I created a value design based on this understanding. I painted broadly even as I started the color stage. And then it was time for the real moment. The first dance! Unlike wedding ceremony which may last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, the first dance is usually 1 to 3 minutes. And depending on the song, couple will move slowly or quickly. As is my practice, I made pencil sketches of the couple as well as the wedding guests. I also snapped couple of photos for insurance. This was helpful for checking the likeness and other features. I do not always use photos for this purpose and rely on my sketches and memory. But, when painting on this scale, it was important to have correct visual information. I painted the couple and then painted the guests. Most important part of my painting was the couple. I painted guests and then tightened the painting and added details. Many guests stopped by to admire the painting. By the time I was finished, it was pretty dark inside as the dance floor was open. So, I used my own lighting. Here is my finished painting still on the easel:

Live Wedding Reception painting at NRCC
Here is my finished live painting of the first dance on easel.

I informed Megan of A Southern Soiree that the commission was complete and can be presented to the couple for approval. I was fortunate to have Chrisobal of Azul Photography present when painting was presented to Katherine and Manny. The couple was simply amazed! And so were the family members and wedding guests. I look forward to seeing those amazing images!

The party was still in progress so Megan was able to display finished painting on an easel. The painting was started prior to the reception and was finished prior to end of the reception. It was time to head home. The next day was Father’s day. But, I was scheduled to work from 7 AM- midnight (welcome to the life of self-employed artist!). I will be blogging about that day on my professional photography blog. Be sure to check that out in few days. Here is the finished painting:

First dance of Katherine and Manny. Painted live at NRCC
First dance of Katherine and Manny. Live wedding painting at the North Ridge Country Club in Raleigh NC. 18×24. Oil on linen.

My next commission will be in VA. And a studio wedding painting commission from very popular and beautiful local venue is very likely soon. So, if you are already married or are looking for a gift for someone who is already married- think of commissioning me to do a studio painting from wedding photos.

If you like my work, please be a fan of my Facebook page. To paint, all I need is painting materials. To paint for living, I need all the fans and patrons I can get…

– Tesh Parekh

Live Wedding Painter and Fine Artist

www.TeshParekhArt.com

Memorial Day 2010- An original oil painting by Tesh Parekh

Memorial Day 2010. 16×20. Oil on linen.

I did this painting for Jerry’s Artarama’s Lukas paint competition. I had done one painting earlier for this competition “The Cloud”. It is currently on the display for sale at Cary Gallery of Artists.

I love the way evening light falls through front door of our home. My son Ian loves to stand there and watch the world outside. Originally I wanted to do his watercolor painting. So, I did a pencil sketch couple of days ago. The weather has been cloudy for last few days, so I could not make an exact sketch of what I wanted to paint. I also had paintings due for Jerry’s as well as North Hills competitions. I did a Plein Air watercolor for North Hills last week (see my earlier post). I wanted to do an oil as well, but, couldn’t get out to paint (North Hills competition is Plein air). So, I decided to work on at least one more painting for Jerry’s.

The painting was due today. And when I was being run over by the day yesterday, I finally saw the sunlight! I tried having Ian pose the way I wanted. Hmmm… Try that with a two-year old! So, I gave up and snapped few photos to use as reference.

I used linen as a support. Although I paint on both canvas and linen (sometimes on board), I prefer linen. Lukas paints are different from other brands I use. Those are all good paints and I enjoy discovering characteristics of each brand. I started to paint at 10:30 PM and stayed up to finish it this morning at 2 AM. When I was finished, I didn’t care if I will win anything. I enjoyed my little painting. One thing was certain: I will have dozen brushes to wash next day and Ian will be up in the morning! He did get up at 3 AM! And I still have brushed to wash!

Ian’s middle name is West. His grandfather was James West Hadnot. A fine fighter pilot and Col. in the US air force. World War II veteran. Today, when I remember him (he passed away in 2007), I remember many war stories he had shared with me. Some of those can make hair on your arms stand up. And here I was. Worried about little things. I had a very upsetting and bizarre incident involving one of my professional photography clients yesterday. Kept me busy all day. I couldn’t stop thinking about it as I painted. And there are some fine folks who are sacrificing their lives for this country. There is no secret message in my painting. It is a little painting done on the Memorial day. May be Ian will grow up to be like Col. James West Hadnot.

– Tesh Parekh

www.teshparekh.com

919-622-5399

“Secret Creek”- A Plein Air Painting by Tesh Parekh

Secret Creek. 15×22. Watercolor on paper. En Plein Air.

This is my latest watercolor. I painted this plein air at the Durant Nature park. I had been painting outdoors for last few days. My hope was to have at least one new painting which I can submit to Watercolor Society of North Carolina (WSNC). I decided to submit this along with the “Beaufort Sunset”. “Beaufort Sunset” is a gouache painting on a board.

I have made several paintings at the Durant Nature park and hope to make many more. Visiting the same place to paint has been helpful: it has taught me to view the reality in different ways. Of course, the challenge is always to capture on the paper what I visualize. So, the development of skills is very important to me. It is a long process.

This is another painting done on an overcast day. There is a small trail which runs along the creek and it is called “secret creek trail”. On the one side of the creek is this trail and on the other side is the city street! Trees and wild life on one side and houses on the other side. For the most part, you can hear the water running, but, occasionally, you also hear men and machines. I liked the spot where the light was filtering from the top through an opening. I did this painting on Arches 300 lb CP paper. I have been painting on bigger size papers and have been for fortunate to complete my paintings in 2-3 hours. There are theories in the art world about what size paintings sell better. I am learning to ignore those! For now, I want my artistic preference to dictate the size. There is also a theory that unless it is Oil on linen or gallery wrapped canvas, it is not art! I paint in oils, but, for different reasons. I would rather keep learning to make the best art- regardless of the medium!

I was happy with the painting so I have submitted it to WSNC. Of course, WSNC does not require the painting to be plein air work. It can be done in the studio. But, if I can paint outdoors, why not? I would like to keep photography as a separate career.

This week looks busy with chores and weather- I am planning on painting thorugh both!

– Tesh Parekh

www.teshparekh.com

919-622-5399

In memory of Kyle Byrd- an oil portrait

Kyle. Oil on linen. 16x20. NFS.

Kyle. Oil on linen. 16″x20″. NFS.

First, let me introduce Kyle. I never got the opportunity to meet this young soul. All I know about him is from the people who love him. And there are so many! I asked his mom Karen Byrd to share Kyle’s story. It brought tears to my eyes:

“I would love to tell you about Kyle — he was a great kid!  Kyle was such a good baby; happy and fun and absolutely adorable.  As a toddler and little boy, he was so full of energy — he kept us on our toes ALL THE TIME!  That part never changed . . . Kyle was always what I like to call “outside the box.”  He was never a bad kid, but he always kept me hopping.  As a teenager, he was really smart.  He never had to study or work very hard, but always made excellent grades; it just came easy to him.  You just had to keep him focused so that he used his power and energy for good and not evil : )  He dabbled in about every sport at some time in his life — baseball, basketball, soccer, football, hockey . . . but his passions were wheels and music.  Kyle could drive anything with wheels and he could almost instantly play any musical instrument that he picked up.  When he was 2 years old, he couldn’t tell you the difference between a football and basketball or a horse and a cow, but he could drive a go cart with unbelievable skill and name all 40+ NASCAR drivers and sing the National Anthem . . . Kyle had a passion for people and for our community.  His entire life, he volunteered along side Jimmy and I at Jaycee events and charity projects — he worked on projects, coached kids’ t-ball, worked with needy kids and so much more.  Kyle also had a passion for the YMCA; he planned to be a YMCA counselor in high school.  Kyle accepted Jesus in March of 2007 at a youth retreat at our church; and he dedicated his life to God at that time, becoming very active in our youth group and with the youth puppet team.  Kyle adored his little sister and he looked after her, even though she drove him totally crazy.  Kyle was also very popular.  He was known by his friends as “The Byrdman.”  He had a beautiful girlfriend, Julieann, who is still and will always be a part of our life.  He was famous for his “neon hair” and his love of pink.  He wore pink clothes and had a pink calculator, pink notebooks and a pink ipod.  One of Kyle’s YMCA counselors said during Kyle’s funeral services “who else but Kyle could get this many ‘manly men’ to all wear pink” referring to all the men and teenagers in pink that day.  The most defining trait of Kyle would have to be his sense of humor.  He could have me so mad that I would be ready to ground him for life (or much worse) and then he would say something so totally off the wall that I would just bust out laughing…He’d do anything for a laugh.  One time, he wanted a funny Halloween costume.  That particular year, he was playing football and he had a football game that day; then he came home all sweaty from football and changed into his costume forHalloween . . . as a cheerleader.  He was so “pretty” that we had people asking us about our “daughter” — people had no idea he was a boy; and he went out with his peers like that . . . no one could believe he had such guts, but for Kyle. . . anything for a laugh.  Tesh, I miss him ever single second of every minute of every day . . . he was just a ray of sunshine, my waller monster, who loved to waller on me and hug me, unlike most teenagers, he was never embarrassed to hug and love me.  This world is a better place because of his short time here and everyone who had the pleasure of knowing Kyle is blessed for the experience.  Kyle James Byrd 1/6/93 – 6/23/07 Beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin & friend . . . Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God ~ Matthew 5:8″

Thank you Karen, for sharing this and for giving me the opportunity to paint Kyle.

I started Kyle’s portrait about a year ago. I was working from a digital photograph shared Karen. This was one of her favorite photos. It was taken at Kyle’s concert under indoor lighting. Kyle, being cool, had his shades on!

I wanted to do an oil portrait and wanted to do a direct painting. I could not finish my first painting while the initial stages were still wet. I decided not to paint over dried layer of paint.

So, I started a new one yesterday. And below you can see the stages of my progress. I started by painting free hand with neutral color. My plan was to follow John Howard Sanden’s system. However, since his system is for painting from life, I had to make changes as I went along. The main challenges which I faced were the quality of light in the photo and the fact that I could not see Kyle’s eyes. However, it was very rewarding doing this portrait and it was like spending time with Kyle, getting to know him.

– Tesh

My work is online at: www.teshparekh.com